Guitar Lessons by Jeff Dunsmore in Butler, Pennsylvania

How it all started

I grew up around music. My mother use to play piano and organ, so even as a kid growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio I was listening to a lot of music and watching her play daily. I think they bought my brother a guitar when he was 8 so I got to listen to him play guitar quite often also.

When I was about 14 I lived in Butler, Pennsylvania. My brother had been playing guitar a lot and started inviting friends over for jam sessions. As time went on, I guess I had him and some of his friends teach me a couple songs. I remember playing smoke on the water and freebird for about the first year.

I went to live with my father, back in Ohio, when I was 15 and that is when I started spending a lot of time practicing and playing. I was the new kid in town and did not have a lot of friends when I first moved, so I spent countless hours listening to my favorite bands and trying to figure out how to play the songs. Tablature was not very popular then, so I think spending hour upon hour attempting to figure the songs out helped me develop a relatively decent ear. It was good ear training!

The following year, when I was 16, I ended up going to military school. I went to Woodrow Wilson - OVCH - OSSO in Xenia, Ohio until I graduated. There were about 200 kids on campus and lucky for me, some of them were musicians. We use to jam every evening, sometimes just in our rooms and sometimes we were allowed to set our equipment up outside. It was probably the first time I ever wanted to start a real band. We were learning songs and trying to learn all the parts correctly and eventually play the songs for the campus talent show. That first talent show is something I will never ever forget! The OVCH campus had its own auditorium and the talent show was also open the to public. Imagine this: " you have never played a gig before and there you are standing behind the auditorium curtain waiting to play the Star Spangled Banner to start the talent show and when they opened the curtain the full size auditorium was completely packed with students, family, staff, and residents from the community "! Tell you what, I loved it, but I admit I was nervous. I got through the song fine and then the talent show started. After A while, the band we put together for the talent show got up and played 3 songs or something. I just remember having a blast playing in front of all those people and getting a great response when we were done. During this period of time is when I became a "Rush" freak! One of my best and life long friends, Curtis Proffitt was there and played drums and we would play various parts of Rush songs until our fingers would bleed! Cudos to Nate Windle who played Bass, guitar, keyboards, and sang. Cudos to Kenny Young an awesome guitar player at the age of 15 and taught me the complete correct version of Stairway to heaven and many other songs too. Cudos to Gene Cogswell, even though we started playing more in the next chapter. Cudos to Joe Sheffler and Joel also. I forget Joel's last name at the moment. He taught me a bunch of ac/dc songs which also became one of my favorite bands. I always like the energy when playing an ac/dc song. If anyone remembers Joel's last name, contact me!

College Years

I went to Rio Grande College in Ohio after High School. They did not have a great music program at Rio but I did manage to take all the music classes they offered at the time. I ended up taking individual lessons from the music teacher. I ended up studying piano with her so I could study music in a linear format. I took it very serious and soaked her for every bit of music theory that she could give. I still remember some of her methods and often use them with my own students. One of the things I remember her saying most is this: "Play the part your working on 10 times perfect and then you have it down and if you make a mistake you have to start completely over and play it 10 times again!" That was ok, except when your working with the metronome it can be a long long day! I played the talent show my first year at Rio. I met some Japanese guys that were pretty damn good musicians so we put a couple quick songs together and did the show. Same story as above: Big auditorium, lots of people, good response, lots of fun!!!

I did pretty good in school until my second year. Most of my friends from the military school were a year behind me and they came to college my second year. For me, it became a big party with my main focus on music and not school. Hey what can I say, we had a lot of fun! We were starting to get to the point where we could put a real band together and thinking of playing out. I was trying to get something going with Curt Proffitt, Gene Cogswell, Nate Windle, and singer Mike Williams! We worked on a ton of different songs with the intentions on playing live shows and now my music library was growing and I could almost taste a real show. Long story short, College got in the way and the singer ended up choosing to go to a different school to pursue a baseball career.

After college

I decided to move back to my hometown after school. It did not take long and I met some musicians. I jammed with Matt Martin on drums and Jeff Coyle singing and playing some guitar and whoever we could find to sit in on bass. This was some good times and great learning. The talent level and bar was raised. We started playing classic songs as well as new modern music and the learning curve was there for all of us. We even wrote some original music which really started to give me a new found passion. One of these days I will break out my old real to real and mix the songs down we were working on. It seemed incredible then but will be interesting to hear now! Anyway, we were getting serious at this point but did not really have a steady bass player and Jeff Coyle met another drummer that just came back from New York and seemed very serious. His Name was Jeff too! 3 Jeff's, imagine that! Guess what, he knew a bass player and his name was Jeff! 4 Jeff's!

First Band - Nasty Habits

Four Jeff's in a band and we decided to call it "nasty habits", hmm what were we thinking haha! The drummer Jeff had experience with playing out and managing a band so we were able to finally get busy. We ended up finding a sound company to work with us and things seemed to get very serious. A guy named Ray Reemer took us under his wing. We set our equipment up at his place and started practicing through the PA system about 2 or 3 times a week. Ray had played guitar and sang in a band and was very good and new what he was listening to and would help us polish our songs. I think we spent 6 months practicing, perfecting the sound, levels, and progressions all the songs. Hell, it was like we were getting ready for a tour! I have a demo tape of us practicing and one of these days if I come across it I will have to mix it down too. I owe Ray a big thanks for all that time he spent with us and teaching us what it would really take to be a good band that was ready to play out!!! Our first gig arrived and it was for New Years Eve at a club called the Meridian Inn. The club was jam packed and turned out to be a great first real paying gig for us. We played many shows all over Butler and Pittsburgh as Nasty Habits. I think we became popular and we were having a lot of success. Sometimes that success can interfere with the goals of 4 musicians. Anyway, things happened and we decided to get a new singer.

Sweet Sin Band- 3 Jeff's and a Mario

So, we had 3 Jeff's and a new singer called Mario. We kept some of our best material and worked in some new great fresh material and continued to have success playing out. During this time we also made our first four track demo. We wanted to expand the band's horizons and get some better shows, but knew we had to have a decent demo recording. We made a 3 song demo. I think one of the songs was even an original. I lost this demo. I will have to get in touch with the old members and see if they happen to have it! I think we did Wicked Sensation - Lynch Mob, Find My Way Home, and maybe an original called "dream my life away". I just want it for the old archive :). After a while I got kicked out of this band. They were moving forward and they found a great guitar player which would replace me. I guess I was ready to go but did not see it coming. Looking back in retrospect, I think it made me a better player and musician being kicked out and forced me to practice more.

Shot London - move to Ohio

After Sweet Sin I decided to move to Ohio. I got a job working in a music store called "Martin Music" and that is where I met Troy Hickle. He was in the middle of recording one of his CD's and I remember him coming into work each morning listening to his tracks he recording the night before. I asked him who he was listening to and he said, me, "Shot London". I was diggen the tunes! After a while he finished up his CD, got the copyright done for it, got the music ready for selling and distribution and was ready to play out. I tried out for the band and got the gig. I had a blast writing music with Shot London. We played cover tunes so we could play some gigs, but we wrote a lot of music and I really started to enjoy writing originals and playing them live. I don't recall ever having a negative moment with Shot London. When I first joined, we had Andy Izold playing drums and he also recorded and helped mix the CD. He got the chance to go out to California and shop some of his recording/mixing skills and landed a job in California, or something. That is when we brought in Steve Sayre on drums. OMG were we good and fast! We wrote a lot of music and played successful shows. At one point I lived in Pennsylvania but was still playing with Shot London. After a while we had some notion, and an opportunity of going to Germany. Sad story, but some decisions had to be made and we decided not to go. Shortly after, things slowly fizzled away.

Lost Souls - 1996 Reunion with Brother - 2008 (Over a decade)

The childhood dream was about to unfold. Many times over of the years my brother and I talked about jamming but one of us always had something going on that hindered it from becoming a reality. I was back in Pennsylvania and He was in Hawaii, out of the blue my brother decided to move back home from Hawaii. Two different styles of music quickly merged into one. We immediately started writing original music together and slowly invested in some home studio recording gear to capture our efforts. We jammed and wrote with many musicians. One day we jammed with a bass player named Eric Cralle and he was adopted instantly. He has just about been there since the inception of Lost Souls and hope he remains! We also started out with Jeff Snow on Drums and wrote a bunch of songs. He took a little break and it seemed like we must have played with over a dozen drummers for a while, but now he is back! Between Jeff Snow, Jake Robison, and Joe Sewanich we were able to write a ton of songs, many which are published on the Lost Souls Band Website.

It has been a slowride, but now things are moving forward consistently. We managed to get some radio play on WXDX for a song called "Drink Some Wine" and played the WDVE Coffee house with a new release of a song called "2 fingers". We have also raised a lot of money for different charity's including a 911 benefit which brought in over $5,000. We also got to play on the Easyriders Tour and had a blast on the big stage! We are constantly writing new songs and working on new cover songs. We have a lot of great concerts lined up for 2008 and we are even booked up until next New Years Eve. Lost Souls is back in the studio finishing up some recording that was done in 2006-2007. We are anxious to do more recording and will be recording many more songs, both new and old in 2008.

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